7 Tips For Writing A Better Screenplay – Guido Segal

Guido Segal, Screenwriter, Journalist, Film Critic, Instructor: She said I always have to try to have three different conflicts happening to the character at the same time and they’re all not of the same magnitude so for example…

Film Courage: Can you explain how you outline a screenplay?

Guido: Outlines. I’d say first you have the idea or you have the concept so to speak. Some people have high concepts which are easier to explain in a few words. I usually have low concepts in the sense that they’re character driven and that’s in a way challenging because you’ve got to find out what makes them distinctive from other ideas. Maybe the juice, the beauty of it is not in the concept, but in the world and the character. I do a beat sheet first and I use an exercise that Hal Ackerman talks about who I had class with at UCLA called snow plowing. Snow plowing is basically you set out a certain amount of time, it could be 20 minutes could be 40 or an hour. Usually you don’t do more than an hour at a time and you write down possible scenes without judging them and not stopping. It doesn’t matter if they contradict one another, you just keep going because they’re just possibilities, they’re not the whole final thing. I don’t use a computer. I just write it down manually and let’s say you do 20 minutes and you just go nonstop because if you stop you’re going to judge it and the point is not to judge yourself, the point is to discover. You do this exercise a few times over and over again and then you go back to it and then you pick and…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


Guido Segal was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Before moving to Los Angeles to pursue his  MFA in Screenwriting at UCLA, he was a journalist and a film critic, selected as a Juror at la Semaine de la Critique, during the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Segal has worked as a documentary filmmaker for History and Discovery Channel covering political topics (Asylum Seekers; Sicarios). He also has vast experience as an assistant director and screenwriter for films and TV. Segal co-wrote the Argentinian films Leones (2012) and Kékzsakállú (2016). He was also staffed as a TV writer in three shows: Un Año Para Recordar (2011-2012); La Asombrosa Excursión de Zamba (2014-2016); and Siesta Z (2016). The last two animated shows were nominated for International Emmy Awards in the Kids category. Segal has lived in Argentina, Spain and Finland, and taught Screenwriting and Film Analysis in Universidad del Cine (Buenos Aires), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona), TAMK University (Tampere, Finland) and UCLA. 






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